Making friends in high school
A (nearly) foolproof way to make friends in those hallowed halls
Hurray! You’re in high school! Oh, heck! You’re in high school!
So why the two different responses? Simple. High school can be one of the best times of your life. And it can be one of hardest, scariest, most stressful ones, too.
So why the big difference? It all comes down to friends. If you have few good friends, high school is much easier and much less stressful (well, except for those chemistry tests. Those will be stressful no matter how many friends you have!)
So…now what? You’re here because you want to have friends (or more friends) in high school. Awesome! I can help! (But again, you’re on your own with that chemistry final.) Check out these tried-and-true steps, and see if they work for you.
Step One (I just love how bolding makes things look so official!)
Figure out what you like. Yeah, I know. Just when everything in the world is changing for you, and you’re trying to figure out what you might want to do for the rest of your life, somebody comes along and asks you to figure out what you like!
But try it. Just grab a piece of notebook paper, and write down the things you like to do. (No wait, back up a step. The things you like to do that are actually legal to do on school property.)
Try to get at least 5 or 10 things written down. Don’t worry about spelling, unless of course, that’s one of the things you like to do!
Step Two (caps AND bold. So fancy!)
Now look at your list. Let’s just make up one so I can walk you through this. Let’s say you wrote down:
- Watching football
- Building stuff
- Reading science fiction
- Playing video games
- Messing around online
You are most likely to find friends when you're doing something you like. Why? Because the other people around you are doing the same stuff. So you're going to take your list, and you're going to find things to do at school that involve doing what you like.
You like building things? Volunteer to build sets for the next theatre production. You like playing video games? See if your school has a gaming club, or just a lounge with computers and games. Like writing? Join the school paper. You could even combine the fact that you like to watch football with the writing by becoming a sports reporter for the paper.
I know, you're going, wait! This was supposed to be about making friends in high school. And it is. This is just building the groundwork.
Now comes the friends part! (See I didn't forget!) Here's what it comes down to:
- When people are happy, other people want to be around them
- When people are doing things they like to do, they are generally happier.
- When people are happy, they smile, which is like a beacon that attracts other people.
- Odds are the people who are around at whatever you're doing, also like doing some of the same things you do, so you instantly have something in common
- So by doing things you like, you're more likely to smile, more likely to be around people who share some of your interests, and more likely to be friend material.
You see, instead of giving you all kinds of platitudes about how wonderful friends are, I am giving you something real to do. Something that really works. That takes the question of how to make friends in school out of the "change yourself" world, and into the "be yourself" world.
Pretty cool, huh? And even better? I KNOW it works. When I went to high school, almost everyone I had known for years went to a different high school (gotta love those boundary changes.) That meant I had to make all new friends.
Luckily, someone told me about this. And it worked. So I used it when I went to college, too. And it worked again. I just got busy doing stuff I already liked, and the friendships happened.
But sometimes it doesn't
If you've tried to find things to do, tried to find friends, and just aren't making it work, just know that you're not unusual. High school can be tough. Just make sure you let a trusted adult know about the problems you're having. They might know of a way to make it work for you that I haven't mentioned.
In the long run, you'll do fine. After all, you're a great kid who likes all kinds of cool stuff. Oh, and that includes the chemistry final. I'm sure you'll do great on that, too!